NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Americans seem content to stay put in their homes and that is bad news for homebuilders. According to a study from RateWatch, 81% of homeowners said they have no plans to purchase a different home. Less than 3% will be shopping for a home within the year. Why? They're happy with their house.
The same amount, 80%, say they like their home and don't want to leave. Only a small amount, less than 5%, say they have to stay because they owe too much money to sell. So many of these homeowners could move, they just prefer not to.
The picture doesn't get any brighter for the property virgins: 57% of people that currently don't own a home have no plans to go shopping now, although a year from now about 9% think they will make a purchase. Many are still in school or just prefer to rent.
A quarter of these potential homebuyers just don't feel financially stable enough to commit to a house. However, it didn't matter how much money they made. It's understandable that someone making less than $25,000 a year doesn't feel like they can afford a home, but it's shocking that someone who makes over $150,000 a year feels equally poor.
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The higher home prices could be a good reason why. Homes have hit record high prices during April in markets like Houston, Austin, Portland and even Central Indiana. This past week, the Case-Shiller index showed that home prices had risen 12.4% over last year. Inventories are also low, so existing homeowners are content knowing they have a home. Those without a home aren't interested in joining the chase.